Researcher Job Opening


Application Deadline: February 20, 2022

We're looking for researchers to work with us on understanding moral circle expansion and related social phenomena. This position offers a lot of flexibility with few requirements other than the production of high-quality research that fits within our mission. We are open to a variety of research methods: qualitative (e.g. historical case studies, interviews, conceptual analysis), quantitative (e.g. nationally representative surveys, behavioral experiments, analysis of existing industry and survey data), or mixed methods.

We are also hiring a generalist, and the application form allows you to apply for one or both positions.

Research Topics

When SI was founded in 2017, we were primarily focused on farmed animals as the frontier of humanity's moral circle. We expect our future research on this to be similar to our previous research, most of which is listed on our Reports page. We also have some ideas for future research listed in our current research agenda that may be of interest to applicants.

In late 2020, we incorporated a second research focus area on artificial intelligence (AI) and artificial sentience (AS): robots, machines, and other entities made by humans that can have positive or negative experiences such as happiness or suffering. Because this is such a new field, a lot of our research so far has been big-picture in nature. For example, we have completed a literature review on the moral consideration of artificial entities, and we have in-progress research on the predictors and features of moral consideration for artificial entities, and a US nationally representative survey on people’s moral attitudes towards AS. Over the next few years, we expect to continue to produce research aimed at building a robust body of theoretical and empirical literature in this field. For further information on our perspective on this topic, please see this blog post.

In addition to farmed animals and AI/AS, possible research topics include the moral inclusion of wild animals and generalizing historical examples (i.e. focusing on a general understanding of moral inclusion processes instead of analyzing specific current or future targets of expansion).

Publishing Research Findings

We want all of our research to be thoroughly vetted and publically available, and we are open to various publication formats. Our previous publications have been reports (i.e. white papers, working papers), academic journal articles, blog posts, newspaper and magazine articles, conference presentations, and a book. The best publication format depends partly on the content and audience of the work, but we also consider how we can support early-career researchers working on the topic of moral circle expansion, and some publication formats may be more useful for their professional development.

Specific Tasks and Duties

This is, in general, what our researchers work on:

More Information

Required Attributes

Preferred Attributes

We encourage you to apply even if you don't meet some or any of these:

Application Process

This is our plan for the application process, for your convenience:

Apply Now

Click here to apply to the Researcher position (Google Form).

Please note that the application form requires a Google account for uploads. If you do not have a Google account you may send your responses and materials to

Sentience Institute is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment regardless of their race, color, religion, age, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

Please contact with any questions. We know job applications can take a lot of time, and we will do our best to be considerate of your schedule throughout our hiring process.

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